Jail Signings Opinions

I have been doing some research in regards to jail signings and the costs involved. Some of the details regarding fees are unclear to me, so I was wondering if there were any experienced jail signers on NC?

First off, I am a California Notary. I am giving an example of 2 jails:

  1. Jail A, 15 or so miles from my house. Same general vicinity
  2. Jail B, 40 or so miles from my house.

Fee structure is where I get confused, overall.

  1. Jail A, to base fee to leave the house (random number) $85 OR $25/hour (negates 3)

  2. Jail A, no mileage (or should I charge a base of say, $15 - again, random number)

  3. Jail A, first hour of waiting free, second hour $1/minute

  4. Jail A, $10/sig, $7.50/sig additional

  5. Jail B, base fee to leave the house (random number) $115 OR $35/hour (negates 3)

  6. Jail B, mileage $25 + $1 over 25 miles

  7. Jail B, first hour of waiting free, after that $1/minute

  8. Jail B, $10/sig, $75/sig additional

Copies additional, faxes if needed additional.

Base fee to leave the house payable up front. Always make sure to verify what kind of ID will be present

Do these seem unreasonable? Are there any oversights? Am I overthinking? Any and all opinions are welcome.


I’m also an ordained (secular) minister.

Basically…your business–your fees. Posted by someone who won’t do these. But, I’ve seen many posts over the years about the difficulties involved, which I’m sure varies by location. No ID, can’t actually see the person sign, wait is looong, you could get into a lock-down situation, can’t remember all the problems I’ve seen, but the best suggestion is to call the jail and find out all their procedures before you agree to do this.

I do jail appointments at a local County detention center. Until this year, when the law changed, the main difficulty was obtaining the inmate I.D. Now we are able to accept the County issued I.D. bracelet. I normally charge a flat fee for a jail appointment, as most appointments take up to an hour, not including travel time. Unless it’s an attorney making the appt., I collect the travel fee upfront via credit card. As I have been stood up by relatives in the past or they conveniently didn’t bring enough money or any credit cards! Once on-site, collect the documents and proceed into the facility (relatives cannot go with you). A County Sheriff is with you the whole time and passes the documents, journal, pen etc to the inmate for signature. Once notary act is completed, return docs to client and collect notary act fee. I accept cash, credit, debit only.
If you are close to a facility, canvas the criminal attorneys in the area and drop off your cards, they may call you for local service. However, I have been contacted by attorneys in other cities as well. For Attorney clients, I will accept business checks.
I have never been in a lock-down situation so cannot relay any info on that. I registered with the Sheriff Office at the facility, so they have all my info on file (I.D./Commission etc). Call them to find out if an appointment is necessary. In my case they allow Notaries and Attorney’s 24 hour access. I only provide Jail service during certain hours, to avoid the inmate meal times and exercise time, as that determines how long you have to wait for them to get the inmate to the visiting room. Hope this helps with your decision.

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